Thursday, September 30, 2010

Girls Day Out...and Fluffies

Rosie and I did a bit of shopping today and although it isn't her favourite thing to do, she was a star.
She was so patient while I looked at fascinating things such as dishracks and ramekins (poor child) that I decided to treat her to a fluffy. This is usually a tradition that she enjoys with Nana when she goes to Hamilton but today she deserved a little treat.
I never thought a 50 cent mini cup of milk froth could bring so much joy! She was so happy to be spending some time alone with mum, regardless of the fact that the activity was less than thrilling.
On our way out she said, "Mum, it's so much fun spending time with just us girls hey"? Harry, being a lot younger (and male after all!) dominates my time a lot more than Rosie, who is quite independent but today has reminded me how important it is to spend time with my 'big girl'. :-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harry's Wardrobe Finished...Almost

We have finally finished Harry's wardrobe...almost.
Strangely, his wardrobe door wasn't painted like those in the rest of the house (a previous owner ran out of steam perhaps?) so we still need to seal it and paint it white but other than that, it is done.
The 'before' photo looks frightening I know, but I included it to show what the kids wardrobes look like when I ask them to clean their room. Yes, they are firm believers in the old adage, 'out of sight, out of mind'. Dumping everything where Mum can't see it always seems like a good solution at the time!
We cleared everything out and Taff gave it two coats of Resene Alabaster. Now the old 1970's dirty blue is gone and I bow down to our tin of white paint again. It really is the cheapest and best solution for making everything look fresh and almost new again.
Just like in Rose's wardrobe, I ditched the old hangers and replaced them with white ones from the Warehouse. I also love his Ikea shoe hanger. I bought it several years ago on my first glorious trip to Ikea (sigh) and it is fantastic for keeping all his little shoes neat and tidy.
The door is yet to go on but when it does, this room will finally be done. Yay!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kiwi Valley Farm Park

Yesterday we made a trip out to Kiwi Valley, near the Waitakere Ranges to see the Farm Park. It was our first time out there so I wasn't sure what to expect. Rosie and Harry loved it.
There were lots of things for little ones to enjoy and they had a great time in the baby animal area, where they got to hold rats, rabbits and even a piglet.
Rosie fed the ducks and played with the horseshoe toss, although Harry was a lot more cautious.
They both got to ride a pony (it took some coaxing to get Harry on there) and Rosie's pony had the same name as her! She thought that was pretty cool. :-)
The staff were really helpful and had lots of suggestions on what to do around the park. It isn't a huge area and is just the right size for small children to walk around without getting too tired.
We saw little ducklings and the kids saw a peacock up close for the first time. They were particularly impressed with the colours of the feathers.
Rosie was brave enough to feed some of the animals by hand and was very concerned about each one getting their fair share. She doesn't believe in survival of the fittest. :-)
The goats were also quite aggressive so that created some interesting moments too! lol.
One of the biggest highlights was Rosie getting to ride a quad bike for the first time. She loved it and I was so proud of her! She has gained a lot of confidence in trying new things in the last year or so and I was so happy that she was willing to give it a go.
She listened carefully to the instructions from the farmer and then she was off!
After a few cricuits the farmer adjusted the bike to go a bit faster..she enjoyed that. She was the only one in the quad bike area and I couldn't help but think, "only in NZ would you take your child to an animal park in the school holidays and find hardly anyone there". I love this country!
We had a lovely day, filled with lots of 'firsts' for the kids. A great way to spend the first day of the holidays!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Laundry Basics

We all know the basics of laundry, separate your lights and darks, be careful with water temperatures, etc but I have made my fair share of laundry blunders over the years.
Taff's shirts have been the main casualty of my errors. I have turned several of his white shirts into an unattractive shade of pink, thanks to a hidden bathmat or facecloth at the bottom of the washing machine. Ironically, he actually likes pink shirts and owns a couple of them, but the special shade of pink that I "create" has never been to his liking. :-)
Granted, my mistakes occur less often now since I mainly buy white towels (clever solution right? lol) but I thought that I would create a small pin board to hang in the laundry to help me when I am in next in a laundry pickle.
I found these great checklists on how to treat various stains in fabrics so I had them laminated and they will now live in a handy place, close to my machine...just in case.
I found this memo board for under $5 from the Warehouse Clearance section and after masking it up, gave it a couple of quick coats of charcoal paint. I may later paint the cork board but for now, I think I will leave it as it is.
I now have something to hang on one of my laundry walls that is useful. I love a mini project! :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baking Fun

The weekends are a great time to bake and Rosie and Harry love to don their aprons and help out. We begin by looking and seeing what ingredients we have and then choosing a suitable recipe.
 This weekend we decided to make two different treats and they were each responsible for one of the recipes. They really enjoyed this and it gave each of them a chance to be the "boss" in all the tasks.
Rosie made Queen Cakes (I am sure the raisins make them healthy!) and Harry made Nigella's Chocolate Cornflake Cakes (which don't require baking).
The Queen Cakes were a hit with Taff and Rosie and Harry loved the cornflake treats. Baking usually lasts quite a while in our house but I don't think it will this week.
There is nothing like enjoying a sweet treat out in the sun, especially after you have licked the bowl and wooden spoon clean! :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Laundry Essentials

I am still working on what to do with my laundry organisation but I have picked up a few little essentials and have some mini projects for this room that I am hoping to complete in the next few days.
I have had my eye on a set of these metal laundry organisers for a while and they are readily available in good homeware stores such as Freedom, but never at an affordable price. Imagine my joy to find these as I was strolling in the Warehouse the other day! They look almost exactly like their expensive conterparts, at less than half the price of others I have seen. I was chuffed.
I got the soak bucket, peg container and household carrier for my laundry powders and Napisan. I chose the charcoal colour as the laundry is a very pale neutral and I wanted some contrast with the walls. I also picked up a test pot of Baltic Sea from Resene and will use that for my mini projects (more to come on those!).
I am hoping they will co-ordinate and that the ideas floating around in my head will work. Oh well, at least I am enjoying the process! :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Let the holidays begin

I am not sure why, but I feel particularly exhausted after this term at school. It has been busy beyond words and I am well and truly ready for some down time. Ten weeks may not seem like a long time between holidays but in this job, it really is. Teaching is a job which requires you to give every ounce of yourself and it is physically exhausting. I love it...but I do get tired! I am really looking forward to a couple of weeks of lazy mornings, pottering around the house and spending time with my family...intermingled with some (ok, ok, a lot!) of marking. :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Over this Weather...

Although I am a winter girl at heart, I really am over this weather. The last few days have been pretty nasty at times and I am so looking forward to it warming up just a little.
Seeing these images of Rosie and Harry from the summer have got me all excited about getting outside and enjoying the sunshine...when it arrives!
I am ready to say goodbye to the heater, the crock pot and my winter coats for a few months. Hurry up summer, we are waiting!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Open Shelving and Our New Zones

When I was searching for suitable containers for my new zones, I had a very particular shape and size in mind. I was really happy to find these great metal tubs in Spotlight and they were the perfect size I needed to fit in a tricky area of shelving in our kitchen.
We have an area of open shelving at the end of a row of cabinets and I have struggled to find suitable items to place there that don't end up looking like a horrendous mess. I am not a fan of open shelving usually, mainly because I don't have any beautiful collections (like Crown Lynn swans!) to display.
I have mainly used this area to store my magazines but a lot of other junk seems to accumulate there too. Not any longer though! Each shelf has now been allocated a tub and I also bought an extra metal tub to contain all our paper recycling. Now I can finally appreciate my open shelving for it's good points, rather than it's bad!
I am hoping to convince Taff to repaint my kitchen cabinetry in plain white soon (he isn't keen so I will need to be persuasive) and update it with new handles. It is currently a creamy off white and is still perfectly functional, I would just love to update it a little.
I also have an idea up my sleeve for the back of the open shelving. I am not sure if I am brave enough but I would love to wallpaper this area in a beautiful print to add a bit of interest to an otherwise neutral space.
I would also like to make myself a long blackboard to hang on the left hand side wall, next to the shelving. So many projects and not enough time. :-)